Interior Ministry prevents neighborhood officials from visiting Mayor İmamoğlu

Just as Istanbul’s neighborhood heads (mukhtar) were planning to pay a visit to Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on Feb. 2, the Interior Ministry scheduled another meeting for the mukhtars, mandating them to attend it.  

Duvar English

The Istanbul Governor’s Office, under the Interior Ministry, has prevented city neighborhood heads (mukhtar) from visiting Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu by mandating them to participate in a meeting on Feb. 2.

The majority of the city’s 961 mukhtars were planning to pay a visit to İmamoğlu at the municipality’s Saraçhane building on Feb. 2, to show their support for the mayor after he received a jail sentence in December for calling members of the High Election Board (YSK) “fools” three years ago. 

But, the mukhtars received a memorandum from initially the Istanbul Governor’s Office and then the district governor’s offices, mandating them to instead participate in another meeting organized by the Interior Ministry, according to reporting by OdaTV website.

The memorandum read that attendance at the meeting was obligatory as per the law for provincial administration and that public services for the year 2022 would be evaluated during the meeting. “Not coming to the meeting means evading job responsibility,” read the memorandum.

As a result, the mukhtars’ planned meeting with Mayor İmamoğlu has been postponed to another date.

If the jail sentence against İmamoğlu is finalized in the higher courts, the mayor will have to resign from the mayorship. As councillors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have the majority in the municipal assembly, the next mayor would be selected from the AKP in that case.